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One of my favorite hobbies is collecting recipes and cookbooks. For most of my life, I have done this, and collected book after book. However, when Jim and I sold our house and all our stuff and moved into the travel trailer, the weight of books turned them into a heavy luxury I could no longer afford. With a GVWR of just 9,500 pounds, it became more important to have things like underwear, pots and pans, and a laptop than a couple of boxes of books. So, I picked out about 6 books with which I could not part, and sold the rest. My very most favorite cookbooks are:
A Taste Of Georgia
Eat Smart For A Healthy Heart
The FrugaI Gourmet
I started checking cookbooks out of the libraries in the towns we visited, and making copies of recipes I liked and thought I might someday try. But, then, I started accumulating this gigantic pile of paper. What to do?
I bought a scanner, and started scanning the recipes and saving them on my computer. But, the scanner only made a picture of the page. In other words, if I wanted to change the recipe in any way, I could of course print it out, write notes on it, and scan it in again. What a pain. And a jpeg file is huge—it takes up a lot of room on a hard drive. I had to have a better way. Especially now that I am eating a gluten free diet, I like to take the recipes I find, and use them as a starting point to change them around to make them gluten free.
The other day I was sitting there thinking about this problem and came up with a solution for it. I searched the internet for a freeware OCR program, and found one called TopOCR. I downloaded it, and installed it on my laptop. It is not that hard to use, and does exactly what I wanted it to do. It did take a little patience to figure out because the help files are not that informative, but it only took me about 30 minutes to get it installed and working.
I scanned my first OCR pages from a cookbook today and saved them in text format. Now, when I want to change them in any way, all I have to do is type the changes in the document. I wonder why I didn’t think of this a couple of years ago?
I am going to be experimenting with making gravy, using tapioca flour to begin with. I am really missing gravy now that it is cold outside. I hope to be able to post some gravy recipes soon. If anybody out there who is eating gluten free has any ideas about making gravy, I sure would like to hear about them.